Daddy walked to town from Rosewood when he wanted to go. It is not known why this was his choice, why didn't he take the train? By foot, it was about a 2 1/2 hour walk. Different, isn't it as we crawl into our cars and drive at 75mph on the Interstate and be border to border in a state like North Dakota in the same amount of time.
Two and a half hours to me as a child was forever. Driving 300 miles from Minneapolis to Thief River Falls was a great time to sleep. But as soon as we got to Plummer, that last stretch of 17 miles dragged by.
I was one of those kids who stood on the hump on the floor in the back seat and jabbered away in my dad's ear. "Daddy, Daddy, how far is it now?" "Daddy, Daddy, I have to go to the bathroom!" Or "Daddy, what kind of car is that?"
It was mostly two lane highway most of the way home. The cars were new or nearly new and he did drive hard passing everything that got in his way. He was, I thought a good driver, although mother seemed to make movements that said otherwise.
There was a gas station/cafe in Detroit Lakes back in the fifties. We always stopped there on the way home. It meant gas, bathroom, and if you were hungry--get something to eat, (never in the car in those days). That is eat and have a car moving.
I was thinking about my parents today when we were out on the lake and how, on Sunday afternoons, on a day like today, sunny and warm, mother would pack a little lunch and fill the insulated container with coffee and we would take a drive out by Rosewood somewhere.
We didn't stop to visit, rather, they would stop somewhere and the two of them would drink coffee from red plastic cups which were unscrewed from the insulated bottles which were, of course, glass lined. After they were done, mother would pack everything up in the plaid plastic zipper top tote.
On the way home, we would stop at the Rosewood Store and daddy would put on a few dollars worth of gas from an old fashion pump with ball on the top. Nothing so special as that was seen in Thief River Falls!
As a child, I thought Rosewood was ahead of the town where I lived. It had a sleepy sort of Sunday noon atmosphere not found in the city. I knew that daddy had grown up there and I have yet to understand the strong pull that brought him to the area so often on warm, sunny Sundays.
In my travels to cemeteries in the New Solum area, I have tried to 'feel' my way along all the county roads and wonder if I have ever been on them before. Most of the area remains foreign to me.
When daddy and I went on those drives by ourselves, we always went visiting. Where was the Myrom farm? Where was Olaf Hall's house where Babe the pony was farmed out and we went to see her colt, born in late summer with a full curly like coat. Where was Jashaw's? Where were all the red barns my grandfather built?
I seem to always know where my grandparent's lived in Rosewood. I can always find where Gust Opseth's house was, later to be Anderson's. I can find the school's and the Rindal Church.
Personally, I have never walked ten miles at one time in my life. Cycle, yes. I asked my sweet Thomas about it, he walked a lot as a young man and didn't think any thing of walking several miles because that is what was done. Maybe daddy felt the same way.
Remember your knapsack!